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All businesses should have a fire safety policy to reduce the risks and ultimately keep you, your employees, and any contractors safe on site. Here’s what should go into creating your own fire safety policy.
Whether you’re a sole trader or a business with employees, this policy will need to grow with you.
A fire safety policy is a document shared with all employees, and anyone else working for you, to outline potential dangers, how to avoid risks, and what to do if a fire breaks out.
You should also make sure that any staff and contractors are aware of the policy and that everyone is expected to comply with it.
Legally you’re required to have a ‘responsible person’ within your business who’ll be liable for compliance under the legislation. They should be someone employed by the business, and not an external consultant or supplier. If you’re a sole trader, then this responsibility will fall to you.
Areas of responsibility include:
A basic fire safety policy UK template can include:
Your fire safety policy should also include how to reduce risks and report any hazards, as well as documenting a clear evacuation plan.
Here’s an idea of what an evacuation plan should show:
You might also want to mention things like whether you have a paperless office or a clear desk policy.
Your policy should also outline how you’ll manage instances of people not complying.
The government website has more information on building a fire safety plan, including an idea of the sort of things you’ll want to include.
Any fire safety plan must prioritise evacuating people safely over protecting or rescuing equipment or other items, in the event of a fire.
You might choose to appoint a fire marshal to carry out certain responsibilities, such as:
Your fire marshal should also go on a fire safety course.
It’s important to note however, overall responsibility for fire safety is always with the employer and not your fire marshal.
Make sure your fire safety policy is as specific to your business as possible. For example, make sure any listed fire marshal duties match your business needs and activities. And when listing potential fire hazards, you might wish to highlight specific hazards to your business environment.
It's also important that this policy grows as your business does. For example, if you're a sole director with no employees and therefore no managers, this policy will need to reference when your business changes in size.
Rather than having to keep updating it, we recommend that you maintain any wording to cover your position and to provide you with the right guidance as you grow.
Do you have any questions about creating a fire safety policy UK template? Let us know in the comments.
Catriona Smith is a content and marketing professional with 12 years’ experience across the financial services, higher education, and insurance sectors. She’s also a trained NCTJ Gold Standard journalist. As a Senior Copywriter at Simply Business, Catriona has in-depth knowledge of small business concerns and specialises in tax, marketing, and business operations. Catriona lives in the seaside city of Brighton where she’s also a freelance yoga teacher.
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